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Unraveled (YA Fantasy) Revised

Fiction Fantasy Young Adult

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#1 ambmae

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:51 PM

Here goes:

 

Dear Lucky Agent,

 

Everyone knows that dragons are real. But, weavers? Weavers are just myths. At least, that’s what Eva believes, until she discovers that not only are weavers real, she is one! Unfortunately,  because Eva’s abilities were magically suppressed for so long (thanks Mum), she is now severely handicapped by them.

 

Now, Eva has to not only learn about the strings of magic that come from every living thing, she has to learn how to weave those strings together to create spells. Step 1? Learn Mum’s secrets. Step 2? Save the kingdom from an evil curse. Step 3? Don’t fall for the prince. Step 4? Do it all while blind to everything except magic. This should be easy. Right?

 

Unraveled is a completed 80,000 word YA fantasy with a fairy tale setting similar to Ella Enchanted, except this time the heroine isn’t a well known future princess, she’s the lady-in-waiting, and she’s about to challenge everything you thought you knew about fairy tales.

 

I have a bachelor’s degree in communications and have worked as a newspaper correspondent and as a freelance writer.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Sincerely,

 

Lucky Writer

 

Okay, feeling much better today, here's the revised edition. Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!

 

Dear Lucky Agent,

 

When Eva watches her best friend, the daring Prince Aiden, fall from the castle wall, she is convinced these are his last moments on earth. But then burning strings of colorful light appear and Eva, running on instinct alone, is able to slow his descent and save his life, just before her vision is completely clouded by magic.

 

Eva has just discovered she is a weaver, someone who can see and touch the magic strings created by the auras of living things, but because her mother kept her powers woven away from her, Eva missed the window for processing both magic and the mundane world. Eva can see magic everywhere, but that’s all she sees.

 

No longer able to spend her days playing pranks with Aiden, Eva has a lot to learn. Like how to weave the magic strings together to create spells, why her mother would knowingly risk Eva’s sight to keep her from becoming a weaver, and how to keep from falling in love with someone who is soon to be engaged to someone else. Along the way she’ll uncover a curse that threatens to destroy the entire kingdom. Can she unravel it before everyone she loves is pulled into a nightmare?

 

UNRAVELED is a completed 80,000 word YA Fantasy with a fairytale setting similar to Ella Enchanted and Dealing with Dragons.

 

I have a BS Degree in Communications from X college, worked as a newspaper correspondent for 1 year (be truthful is this worth the mention?), and as a freelance writer for 3 years. (I work on the side I’m mostly a homemaker, so should I include any of my work experience? I get paid to write all the time it’s just not my main job).

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

 

Lucky Writer



#2 Springfield

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:23 PM

Here goes:

 

Dear Lucky Agent, Heh.

 

Everyone knows that dragons are real. But, weavers? Weavers are just myths. Then where do sweaters come from? At least, that’s what Eva believes, until she discovers that not only are weavers real, she is one! Oh, don't do that. Unfortunately,  because Eva’s abilities were magically suppressed for so long (thanks Mum), she is now severely handicapped by them. It's cutely voicey, but it's taking quite the roundabout way to get to a point, and it's too vague. Weavers? Handicapped how? 

 

Now, Eva has to not only learn about the strings of magic that come from every living thing, she has to learn how to weave those strings together to create spells. Step 1? Learn Mum’s secrets.Eh? Step 2? Save the kingdom from an evil curse. Double eh? Step 3? Don’t fall for the prince. Step 4? Do it all while blind to everything except magic. This should be easy. Right? You have a question mark problem. Those don't need to be there, and again, it's cute but confusing. What curse, why her, why blind to everything, what secrets? None of it makes any sense because there's no info at all here. All I've got is there are strings of magic that you weave into spells and she's a chosen one with this hidden ability. 

 

Unraveled is a completed 80,000 word YA fantasy with a fairy tale setting similar to Ella Enchanted, except this time the heroine isn’t a well known future princess, she’s the lady-in-waiting, and she’s about to challenge everything you thought you knew about fairy tales. 

 

I have a bachelor’s degree in communications and have worked as a newspaper correspondent and as a freelance writer. Credits here, list a few of the most prestigious.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Sincerely,

 

Lucky Writer

As above. Also, stakes aren't really clear. It reads like it obviously works out in the end, which I reckon it does, but there are presumably stakes in the thing so...



#3 A.M.Rose

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:04 PM

I hope I can offer some helpful advice to you. My comments below in green.

Here goes:

 

Dear Lucky Agent, (This made me LOL) :wub: 

 

Everyone knows that dragons are real. But, weavers? Weavers are just myths. (Are there dragons in your book? Are the dragons important? I'm not sure if you are using the best hook you could for the start of this query - and I personally have no idea what a "weaver" is aside from someone who uses yarn, and I'm thinking that's not what you are talking about.) At least, that’s what Eva believes, until she discovers that not only are weavers real, she is one! Unfortunately,  because Eva’s abilities were magically suppressed for so long (thanks Mum), she is now severely handicapped by them. (Okay so here is the real hook - Eva is a weaver - except her mom has hidden this fact from her. How does Eva find out? I'm guessing that might be your inciting incident. That might work as your hook. Or even something along the lines of. Sixteen-year-old Eva is a weaver - someone who can manipulate the strings of magic, which she accidentally finds out after doing such and such a thing. Even though her mom tried to suppress her abilities, Eva's magic is stronger than either of them ever thought. (or something) Right away we know we are dealing with a fantasy world and you get to the point without being so wishy-washy about it.) 

 

Now, Eva has to not only learn about the strings of magic that come from every living thing, she has to learn how to weave those strings together to create spells. Step 1? Learn Mum’s secrets. Step 2? Save the kingdom from an evil curse. Step 3? Don’t fall for the prince. Step 4? Do it all while blind to everything except magic. This should be easy. Right? (To many question marks here. I like that you are giving us the obstacles, but since we still don't know anything about this story, they are a little vague. We didin't know of a secret but we do know mom was keeping this from her. Maybe - Now Eva's world is flipped on its head. Instead of trying to become homecoming queen (or whatever it is her life was like before this happened) She has to figure out why her mom lied to her for all these years. (I'm not sure how to weave the part about the kingdom and the evil curse in here the way it is currently set up. I would need more info on that.) Learn how to yield her magic. Not be distracted by the completely beautiful yet arrogant (or whatever describes him) Prince. (I don't understand the blind to magic thing either, and I would get rid of the rhetorical question here.)    

 

I'm missing the stakes here. You have the MC - You have what she wants and what stands in her way - but you are missing the "What happens if she fails" - this is what makes the reader care. So make sure to add your stakes. 

 

Unraveled ​(Book titles in all caps UNRAVELED) is a completed 80,000 word YA fantasy with a fairy tale setting similar to Ella Enchanted, except this time the heroine isn’t a well known future princess, she’s the lady-in-waiting, and she’s about to challenge everything you thought you knew about fairy tales. (You could throw a comp title in here if you want.) 

 

I have a bachelor’s degree in communications (I have a BA (BS) degree in Communication from name of college, have worked as a newspaper correspondent and freelance writer for XX years, and am a member of (Add any writing groups/ professional organizations/ even critique groups to show you are committed to the craft) and have worked as a newspaper correspondent and as a freelance writer.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Sincerely,

 

Lucky Writer

Overall I think this sounds like a really endearing story. The way this query is set up it makes it feel like a lot of familiar tropes without anything that sets it apart or makes this story different. Try to add in some specifics of your story, your world, what sets it apart from other stories out there. And as I mentioned before add your stakes. 

 

I loved Ella Enchanted, so I have a feeling I would love this story. 

 

Best of luck to you. 


A.M.Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


#4 ambmae

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:18 PM

A.M. Rose. Thank you! Your critique is so helpful to me. I think I have a better idea of what I need to do here, and as soon as I get over the flu bug that has infected our house, I'll post an update. 

 

1) Better Hook

2) Include Stakes

3) Clearly explain Eva's handicap. She missed the "window" for processing both the mundane world and magic at the same time, so all she can see is strings of light which happen to burn when she touches them

4) Explain the term "weaver" in the context of the mansucript

 

It's humbling to find out that the query you've been obsessing over for a month is kinda crappy, but, c'est la vie. Writers aren't the giving up sort.



#5 ambmae

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:15 AM

I'm trying to delete this comment because I included the new query in the revised first post - sorry - learning curve with forums!



#6 FCWhite

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:49 AM

Here goes: 

 

Okay, feeling much better today, here's the revised edition. Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!

 

Dear Lucky Agent,

 

When Eva watches her best friend, the daring Prince Aiden, fall from the castle wall, she is convinced these are his last moments on earth. But then burning strings of colorful light appear and Eva, running on instinct alone, is able to slow his descent and save his life, just before her vision is completely clouded by magic. I find the idea of being 'clouded by magic' a bit strange to imagine as magic can mean so many things. Do you mean the colourful lights? Does she pass out? I think ending the sentence on save his life works fine actually. 

 

Eva has just discovered she is a weaver, someone who can see and touch the magic strings created by the auras of living things, but because her mother kept her powers woven away woven away as in...she...weaved them away? or do you mean hidden? If you mean hidden just say hidden! from her, Eva missed the window for processing processing seems quite a clinical word to use here...maybe distinguishing? telling the difference? both magic and the mundane world. Eva can see magic everywhere, but that’s all she sees. I'm curious how this plays out in the novel, so all she can see are colourful strings everywhere? Are you saying she goes blind?

 

No longer able to spend her days playing pranks with Aiden, Eva has a lot to learn. Like how to weave the magic strings together to create spells, why her mother would knowingly risk Eva’s sight to keep her from becoming a weaver, and how to keep herself from falling in love with someone who is soon to be engaged to someone else. Along the way she’ll uncover a curse that threatens to destroy the entire kingdom. This comes a little out of nowhere! This actually sounds like the main plot of the novel, something destroying a kingdom usually is! Can you put this more center stage and get there faster to give it the prominance it deserves? Can she unravel it before everyone she loves is pulled into a nightmare? Why are they being pulled into a nightmare? What's actually at stake with this curse?

 

UNRAVELED is a completed 80,000 word YA Fantasy with a fairytale setting similar to Ella Enchanted and Dealing with Dragons.

 

I have a BS Degree in Communications from X college, worked as a newspaper correspondent for 1 year (be truthful is this worth the mention? Tbh i'm not sure myself on this section of the query, but if you do want to mention it maybe say you have experience of journalism and don't mention the 1 year), and as a freelance writer for 3 years. (I work on the side I’m mostly a homemaker, so should I include any of my work experience? I get paid to write all the time it’s just not my main job Again just put you are also a freelance writer and maybe include some publications your writing has been published in if relevant or interesting, I again wouldn't include the years.).

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

 

Lucky Writer

 

I hope this is helpful! I actually like the sound of your novel (despite all my red above), it sounds just like the sort of thing I would have read in my teens :) Just make sure to focus on that central conflict, and why Ella is so important to it! 



#7 ambmae

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:06 PM

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate the time you're taking to help me out with this. I tried to clarify things in this version, but I'm having a hard time putting the curse at the forefront. For most of the novel, Eva is trying to find out her mom's big secret AKA the curse. Let's try this again.

 

Dear Lucky Agent,

 

 

When Eva watches her best friend, the daring Prince Aiden, fall from the castle wall, she is convinced these are his last moments on earth. But then burning strings of colorful light appear and Eva, running on instinct alone, is able to slow his descent and save his life. 

 

Eva has just discovered she is a weaver, someone who can see and touch the magic strings created by the auras of living things. But her powers also come with crippling handicaps, because her mother used her own magical abilities to suppress Eva's, Eva is blind to everything except magic. All she can see are colorful strings of light that burn when she touches them with her bare hands.

 

No longer able to spend her days playing pranks with Aiden, Eva has a lot to learn. Like how to weave the magic strings together to create spells, why her mother would knowingly risk Eva’s sight to keep her from becoming a weaver, and how to keep herself from falling in love with someone who is soon to be engaged to someone else. But all that seems trivial once she uncovers a curse that threatens to destroy the entire kingdom, trapping everyone in a nightmare. Can she unravel it before everyone she loves is put to sleep by an evil weave?

 

UNRAVELED is a completed 80,000 word YA Fantasy with a fairytale setting similar to Ella Enchanted and Dealing with Dragons.

 

I have a BS Degree in Communications from X college and have worked as a newspaper correspondent with X publication and as a freelance writer. 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

 

Lucky Writer







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